Sweepstakes Entry Restrictions: How Often Can You Enter Giveaways?

Understanding Entry Restrictions in Sweepstakes Rules

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How often can you enter giveaways?. Jeffrey Coolidge / Getty Images

Sweepstakes and contests all have restrictions in their rules that govern how often you can enter them. Learn what the most common sweepstakes entry restrictions are and what they mean.

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One Entry Per Person

Some sweepstakes state in their rules that only one entry is permitted per person — or one entry per person per day, or per week, etc. But what does that mean?

This entry restriction means that you, personally, can only enter once per time period. It doesn't matter if you use a different email address, home address, telephone number, your maiden name, your middle name — you can still only enter once.

However, this restriction wouldn't prevent your spouse, your child, or your roommate from entering.

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One Entry Per Email Address

For each email address that you have, you can enter one time per entry period.

This entry restriction means that if you have 200 email addresses registered, you can enter 200 times. However, you then need to check all of those addresses for win notices!

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One Entry Per Person/Email

This entry restriction means that each person can enter only once per time period, and also that the email address can only be used to enter once per time period.

In other words, you can't enter yourself repeatedly; additionally, a friend or family member can't use the same email address that you did when they enter.

Sometimes, sweepstakes rules will list these two restrictions separately. For example, the rules might say one entry per person, and then a little later they'll state that no two entrants may share the same email address.

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One Entry Per Household

A one entry per household entry restriction means that only one person living at the given address can enter the contest or sweepstakes.

It doesn't matter if the other person is a spouse, a child, or just a roommate, if you share the same home, only one of you can enter.

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One Entry Per Computer

If you share your computer with other people, like your spouse or children, only one of you can enter any giveaway with this entry restriction in its rules.

This also means that you can't enter on behalf of anyone else on your computer.

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One Entry Per Internet Location or Per IP Address

A sweepstakes entry restriction of one entry per internet location means that only one person using your IP address can enter per time period.

An IP address is assigned to you by your internet provider. Depending on your internet plan, this IP address might remain the same over time or it might change at certain intervals.

For example, if you and your spouse each have your own computer, but you share the same internet service, only one of you could enter a sweepstake with this restriction.

This can get tricky if you're entering sweepstakes from your office, a computer lab at your university, or from a public location like a library or the local coffee shop. These locations often share an IP address with lots of people, so you might be blocked from entering if any of them already has.

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What Happens If You Enter Too Often?

If you made a mistake and entered a giveaway more often than the entry restrictions allowed, one of three things might happen:

  • You might be disqualified altogether.
  • Your first entry per time period might be accepted while the rest are discarded.
  • You might simply be blocked from entering with a warning.

For details about how to tell how the sponsor handles duplicate entries, read Will I Be Disqualified for Entering Too Often?.